Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Organizers' Collaborative, a display of community and technology

As a state senator, we'd be able to launch a Youth Technology Summit and build upon other endeavors elsewhere, such as this.
(Boston, MA, April 6, 2005) This year, the Grassroots Use Of Technology Conference on April 15-16 in Cambridge, MA will for the first time offer a free "community day" – so that any nonprofit organization in MA can obtain free assistance in overcoming the digital divide. Friday's events will take place on April 15 starting at 1pm in Bldg. E25, at 45 Carleton St. in Kendall Square.

The annual Conference, organized by the Boston-based Organizers' Collaborative, has brought hundreds of nonprofits together from all over New England since 2000. This year the Conference is co-hosted with MIT's Center for Reflective Community Practice. This year's theme, Building Bridges, focuses on the importance of making new and proven technology more accessible to community organizations and advocacy groups, helping them move their work into the 21st century. Sponsors include the Democracy Project of the Gill Foundation, and Wainwright Bank.

The "Community Day" program on Friday will bring speakers from a dozen Massachusetts-based nonprofits. These include Susan O'Connor, coordinator of the Timothy Smith Network, Bliss Austin Spooner of the Massachusetts ACLU, and Jason Pramas of the Mass. Global Action Network. Topics covered Friday include online fundraising, affordable content management systems for nonprofits, online advocacy, community technology centers, and using weblogs. In addition, nonprofit tech "experts" will be on hand to offer organizations one-on-one advice.

"Community Day will enable the smallest nonprofits in Boston, with limited technical background, to learn to move their organization forward without breaking the bank," said Rich Cowan, OC founder.

Saturday's program has a similar focus, with fifteen different workshops on related topics. It also includes a keynote address by political analyst Micah L. Sifry on "The End of Top-Down Politics", focusing on the impact of blogs and other Internet technologies on democratizing the U.S. political system. Mr. Sifry runs, and frequently comments on politics and technology issues for CBS, MSNBC, C-SPAN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Nation and NPR.

Conference cost is $25 for students/limited income, $40 for Organizers' Collaborative
members and $45 for the general public.

Organizers' Collaborative (OC) is a Boston based nonprofit organization that promotes technology as a tool for social change. The Center for Reflective Community Practice at MIT implements projects that strive to improve the lives of those least served by our society.

No comments: